You would think that after the number of mission trips I have taken over the last decade or so that I would have developed immunity to the post-mission depression. Every time I have come back from a trip, I have a period of a few weeks that I alternate between wanting to go back and fighting apathy with what is going on at home. The hardest is when I have gone with a group of friends. Our relationships have deepened because of that experience. Then I return home to my empty apartment and nothing feels right. I long for that deep sense of community and fellowship.
A great friend of mine once gave me some insight into this condition. He told me that when you have an experience like this, that is just a glimpse into the joy and fellowship that we will find in heaven. Therefore, when we return to our mundane routines, we long to return to that experience. However, as he also pointed out, that is not reality. What I mean to say is, that is our mountain top experience. We cannot build tabernacles and remain there. We must come back down to the broken and at times mundane valley.
I am still learning how to take what I have experienced on the mountain. It should energize me for the return to the valley. There are also times when the experience gives me perspective as I struggle through the bogs of life. However, most times the overwhelming feelings fade along with the incredible memories of the trip. I allow life to dull those memories in my mind and it feels as though I have spent my entire life in the valley.